The Progression Of Criminal Minds

Moha Walavalkar
Jul 28, 2019   •  99 views

With crimes increasing at an alarming rate, we are left wondering about the existence of humanity in our hearts. Our mind is muddled with a score of questions. What compels a person to turn into a criminal? What makes him a perpetrator in crime? What are the thoughts running in his mind as he commits a crime? This blog will answer your questions about the various factors that are influential in the development of criminal behaviour.

1. Biological factors

Our physiology plays a major role in affecting our thought processes and personalities as I wrote about in my previous article - The Curious Case of Phineas Gage ( Certain hormonal imbalances make a person predisposed to a criminal behaviour. Having high testosterone levels makes a person more aggressive and prone to anger. Genetics also play a major role in determining the probability of a person having criminal tendencies. A birth defect, brain injury or seizures can cause overexcitation of the aggression centers of the brain which may lead to high violence tendencies.

2. Psychological Factors

Studies have indicated that alot of criminals show symptoms of a variety of mental disorders. Antisocial Personality disorder and utter lack of empathy is a classic trigger for criminality. There are psychological disorders which compel people to commit crimes. Kleptomaniacs have a compulsion to steal and this may include petty theft or high end robberies. Winona Ryder, an actress known for her role as Joyce in the Stranger Things series has severe kleptomaniac tendencies and was charged for stealing $5000 worth of merchandise.

3. Environmental Factors

Environment here does not refer to trees and oceans but the societal enviroment a person grown up in. The society plays an important role in determining one's moral values and personality. Sometimes a person doesn't fit into societal norms and is often ostracised by soceity and this leads to a lot of anger and hostility which might be projected in the form of violent crime. It has been studied that most of the serial killers and notorious criminals have a history of familial abuse. Ted Bundy, one of the most famous serial killers of date belonged to an abusive household and had been a victim and witness to domestic violence by his grandfather.

4. Economic Factors

Economy is one of the biggest reasons in increase of crime rate. Economic crisis leads people to extreme measures and they often turn to crime to pay off their debts. It starts from a child stealing bread to eat and if gone unchecked might escalate into robberies. The greed of money and power often brings out the worst in people and they turn to crime to satiate this greed. Most of the crime lords and leaders of drug rings and other crime circles function purely out of love for moeny and supreme power.

5. Geographical Factors

Geography refers to the neighbourhood a person grows up in and inflences the type of crime that could take place. People from violent neighbourhoods, lower economic backgrounds often are found guilty of blue collar crimes. White collared citizens also commit crime but are of different kinds, mostly focusing on scams and frauds. Gang violence in the most common crime type found due to geographical factors. Local recruitment leads to a higher occurence of violent crime.

The development of a criminal mind is not dependant on only one factor, but is often a mixture of various components coming into play. It is not necessary that every person having some sort of social, psychological or biological deficiency will turn into a criminal. It is a long standing debate whether a person's criminal tendencies can be curbed especially when they are due to genetic dispositions or are some people just meant to be criminals. However, alot of psychologists still have faith in psychotherapy and rehabilitation to change the minds of criminals and make them acceptable into soceity.